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Congressman Boswell

Seventy-seven-year-old Congressman Leonard Boswell and his 22-year-old grandson fought off an armed man during a home invasion Saturday at the congressman’s Iowa farm.

The physically fit Boswell was a repeatedly decorated helicopter assault pilot during the Vietnam War. He represents Iowa’s Third Congressional District in the U.S. House, a district that includes Polk County and Des Moines.

A statement from the congressman’s office said the home invasion happened about 10:45 p.m. Saturday. An armed man burst through the front door and attacked Boswell’s middle-aged daughter, Cindy Brown, demanding money. It was not immediately known whether the intruder knew who lived at the farm — or that he was violating federal law by attacking a member of Congress.

The congressman told a spokesman at his office that heard his daughter’s screams, ran into the home’s entryway and saw the man attacking Cindy. The Congressman then apparently tackled the intruder, trying to wrestle away his gun.

Boswell’s 22-year-old grandson, Mitchell Brown, came into the room with a shotgun. When he leveled the shotgun on the intruder, the man ran outside and disappeared into the night. The farm is in a rural area near the small town of Lamoni.

Grant Woodard of the congressman’s office said other than some scrapes and bruises, the family is fine. It was not known whether the congressman was injured or required medical attention.

The local sheriff, FBI and other agencies are investigating.

Boswell, a Democrat, is a member of the Blue Dog Coalition, whose members are generally conservative-to-moderate Democrats.

He spent 20 years in the United States Army, first drafted in 1956 as a private. He graduated from Artillery Officers Candidate School, eventually rising to the rank of lieutenant colonel. During his military career, he earned two Distinguished Flying Crosses, two Bronze Stars, the Soldier’s Medal and a number of other awards and decorations. He served two one-year tours of duty in Vietnam and two NATO tours of duty in Europe.

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